On UFC Tonight, Chael Sonnen, who is a highly accomplished amateur wrestler on his own right, gave his very passionate reaction about the IOC removing wrestling as one of the core sports of the 2020 Olympics.
Unlike most people who put all the blame solely on IOC, Sonnen also points the finger at the International Federation of Associated Wrestling Styles or FILA. You can watch the entire clip above, but here are a few snippets:
"Look, we have an idiocracy known as FILA that has ruined the sport. We have two knuckleheads that you couldn't trust to run your local donut shop, regulating our sport of wrestling. At the same time, is this a surprise? ...No, wrestling has cannabalized itself from 10 spots on the world and olympic team, to 9, to 8, to 7. Look guys, it's basic science, the number 1 rule in Biology, you either evolve, or you become extinct."
Interestingly enough Sonnen also goes on to say that there's a very bleak future for the sport, and it happens even before the year 2020:
"I am not the bearer of good news. I am not the one who is going to spark a fake light, spark a fake fire behind the perverbial back of this fight. It's over guys. And it's not over in 2020. It's over in 2016."
"Here are the facts they are not telling you. Wrestling in this country is supported by the United States Olympic COmittee. That ATM is going to close the moment they roll out the mat in 2016. You've got 3 and a half years left. You're going to count on a governing body that couldn't gain up 1 spot, move us from 7 to 8, to save the whole sport? It's over, prepare the eulogy."
Can wrestling still be saved? It's been removed from the list of core sports, but it is still technically going against the other sports for a slot at 2020, but as Sonnen points out, there's only a very short amount of time left to do it.
The other shortlisted sports that are also going up for an additional slot? Baseball/softball, karate, roller sports, sport climbing, squash, wakeboarding and wushu.